Politicians diverge on mandate renewal of Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU party has said the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has been established due to different human rights violations committed in Burundi in 2015 which are still observed today. In addition, he said, the government has refused to cooperate with the Commission. “The mandate renewal will be an opportunity to interact with the government, civil society organizations and other partners involved in the promotion of human rights,” he said.

Jean De Dieu Mutabazi (Right) and Léonce Ngendakumana(Left)

On 17 September, during the interactive debate in the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council, Doudou Diène, Chairman of the Commission said the latter demands that the mandate of the Commission be renewed for one more year to ensure that there will remain at least one independent international mechanism in a position to monitor the human rights situation in the country.

On behalf of Burundi government, Rénovat Tabu, Burundi Representative in Geneva has said the country is ready for the 2020 elections. “It is unnecessary to renew the mandate of the Commission”, he said.
Léonce Ngendakumana, however, said it will be an opportunity for the Commission to identify all the crimes that should be committed during the electoral period. “The additional period will allow the Commission to revealing the truth and identify the perpetrators”, he said.

As for Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, RADEBU party chairman, there is no need to renew the mandate of the Commission. “Its reports are always biased and politically motivated,” he said adding that the previous mandate didn’t bring any added value. For him, the national mechanisms in charge of promoting the human rights such as the National Observatory for the prevention of genocide, humanity crimes and other crimes, the National Commission for Human Rights as well as the Ministry of Human Rights and other institutions should be supported to work more actively. “Those institutions will contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights on the eve of the 2020 elections,” he concluded.